Kigali, 6 September 2013
President Kagame has said that in the world, no one has the monopoly on justice; wherever they come from, whatever their social class. President Kagame was speaking today at the launch of the 2013-2014 Judicial Year at Parliament, where he thanked the Justice sector for the remarkable achievements in the past five years.
President Kagame called on the Justice sector to increase efforts in prosecuting challenges facing Rwanda including human trafficking of young girls, women and children:
“Justice is an essential part of building a nation and ensuring every citizen is equal before the law. Every nation, rich or poor, has the ability to respect justice. No country should claim to have monopoly over the understanding of principles of justice. Our context requires us to increase efforts to address challenges including genocide ideology, human and drug trafficking. Human trafficking is not a business but a crime that we should not tolerate.”
President Kagame asked the judiciary to continue improving the handling of cases of drug trafficking, commercial wrangles and embezzlement of public funds and vandalism of public infrastructure.
The President of the Supreme Court and Chief Justice, Professor Sam Rugege thanked President Kagame for his commitment to creating an independent judiciary in Rwanda. Enumerating the achievements of the justice sector, Rugege said that Rwanda is ahead of many countries in the world, including those in the developed world, in terms of independence of the judiciary.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 ranks Rwanda at N°25 in the world with respect to independence of the judiciary, ahead of some western democracies and second only to Botswana in Africa.
The Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga also noted that the prosecution had been able to address challenge of backlog cases. He also said prosecution had been able to win all extradition cases for genocide suspects living abroad, with more of the cases taken to court.